Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Coupon Strategy and Being Frugal - Phase 2

I think I might have put the cart before the horse in that I did not address where all the coupons that I stash in my envelope organizer come from. Well never fear...here we go.

Our family has always subscribed to at least the Sunday newspaper. And as long as I can remember, they have always been full of inserts which are actually my favorite part. Part of those inserts come from Red Plum and Smart Source, two companies that publish coupons for consumer use. In my prior couponing days, I would casually thumb through these inserts looking for high dollar coupons that grabbed my attention or maybe something new I would like to try. Sad to say, I missed the whole point of couponing. More to come on that later.

With my new interest in couponing which came from more time being online, I also discovered that there is a very large mom-blogger community on the web with wonderful women who are sharing their successes and strategies. Here are four that I will post links to:

Save With Louise

This blog is produced by a woman living in my home town who focuses on the grocery stores that I tend to shop at the most - Fred Meyers, Albertsons, and Walgreens.

Consumer Queen
Coupon Princess
Coupon Coup

These three blogs were my very first ones to read on the process of couponing and are very well done. There is so much information here. They have many wonderful links to follow to even more online information about couponing.

Lastly, I have discovered that there are coupons published online that you can print on your home computer that work just like those you would normally clip and cut. Surprisingly, the values of these can sometimes be higher than the newspaper inserts. I am listing several sites below that I routinely use. You will usually be asked to install a coupon printing program - easy and painless - that allows you to print the coupons. As well, many brands such as Kraft and Betty Crocker will reward customers for signing up for their online newsletters with access to coupons for their products. Just search for a favorite product brand and see what you come up with. As a word of note, I set up a separate email address just for this type of occasion just to be sure that I'm not inviting any spam into my home email inbox...just in case. Included in the list are also some sites that let you search for specific coupons and have searchable coupon databases.

A Full Cup
Coupon Tom
Hot Coupon World
Cool Savings
Smart Source

It goes almost without saying that you also need to obtain the sales flyers for the grocery stores in your area. Some of ours appear in the Sunday paper and others appear in our Tuesday paper as an insert with our local Food section. They will be full of coupons for additional savings for that specific store. And don't forget to check the online sites for your favorite grocery stores. Many of them offer features that allow you to access additional coupons as well.

Homework assignment for today is to start saving those coupons inserts and grocery sale ads. Strategies on how to use them will be forthcoming. Check out some of the coupon bloggers online and read up on how they use couponing to reduce their overall grocery costs. And thirdly, poke around a bit and bookmark some of the sites that offer online coupons.

My next post will outline how I pull everything together and start stacking coupons and grocery store deals in order to make the best deals. Until then...happy clipping!

Related posts:

My Coupon Strategy and Being Frugal - Phase 1

My Coupon Strategy and Being Frugal - Phase 3

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